Date: 14/03/2017

Roundtable Discusses on Innovative Forms of Medicine’s Contracting

14. March 2017 - AmCham’s Healthcare Committee organized a Roundtable on Innovative Forms of Medicine Contracting, which was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Public Procurement Office, the Ministry of Finance and the National Fund for Health Insurance.

The object of the meeting was to consider the procurement of medicines and medical devices where current practice does not guarantee maximum positive outcomes for contracting authorities and where the existing legal possibilities, as well as innovative practices that have been implemented in European countries, can bring benefit for all participants in the process of procurement of medicines and medical devices – contracting authorities, suppliers, producers and end-users, the patients.

Dean Sherringham, MSD, spoke on innovative contracting models in European countries. Based on his comprehensive experience in this area, and based on the European directives on public procurement, the foreign expert pointed out that the basic precondition for successful procurement is preliminary analysis of the market by the contracting authorities, i.e. previous preparation of the procedure through discussions of the contracting authorities with potential suppliers. Keeping in mind that the end-goal of the procurement of medicines and medical devices is the same for the contracting authorities (NHIF, Ministry of Health, medical institutions.) and the pharmaceutical industry, and that is the availability of pharmaceutical products at affordable prices. It is necessary to consider the best procurement practices in order to achieve commercial objectives.

Some of the beneficial contracting opportunities presented at the Roundtable, were:

  • Using the direct negotiation process for medicines under patent protection where there is only one producer and only one supplier can be expected in the public procurement;
  • Commercially contracting after the end of the tender, and between the contracting authority and the supplier that had previously won a tender, when it comes to medicines under patent protection, which have a therapeutic alternative but not an ideal substitute;
  • Contracting with more suppliers for procurement of vaccines and medicines after expiration of patent protection where the subject of procurement can be a greater number of therapeutic alternatives that are interchangeable;
  • Distribution of procurement into several parties when it comes to the procurement of vaccines and medicines without patent protection but with an alternative therapy that is not an ideal substitute.
The Roundtable was a great opportunity to analyze the best contracting practices through the perspective of existing legislation, a valuable presentation conducted by lawyer Saša Varinac, a local expert in this field.

Regarding the direct negotiation process, he indicated that the Law on Public Procurement of the Republic of Serbia in Article 36 provides the possibility of a negotiated procedure without publishing a call in case that "due to technical reasons, the procurement may be made only by a particular supplier". This procedure requires the contracting authority to previously provide an opinion on the merits of the implementation of the negotiation procedure from the Public Procurement Office. It was pointed out that contracting authorities should encourage contracting authorities, respecting the legal prerequisites and principles of the procurement process, to consider the possibility of initiating such a procedure.

To download the presentation of Dean Sherringham please follow this link, while for the presentation of Saša Varinac, please click here.